Nairobi, Aug 11 (IANS) Milcah Chemos, the former world champion in the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase said on Friday with four elite athletes, Kenya was in a dominant position to decide the race and must be cautious not to waste this rare opportunity in the ongoing World Championships at London.
“The opposition will be focusing on Kenya for the team and work and other tactics during the race. Kenya have what it takes and the four athletes are top this season and must watch out for Bahraini Ruth Jebet,” said Chemos, reports Xinhua news agency.
A persistent back injury has prolonged Chemos’ absence from the track, but she has actively taken up the athletes representative role and hopes her team will have the ability to win more medals to retain the overall title, which they last won in Beijing in 2015.
The Kenyan team is led by defending champion Hyvin Kiyeng, world U-20 championships and world U-18 championships gold medallist Cellphine Chespol, Commonwealth champion Purity Kirui and Beatrice Chepkoech.
Chemos made history when she handed Kenya its maiden world victory in steeplechase during the 2013 Moscow championships.
But Jebet, who is a Kenyan-born athlete but is now running for her adopted country Bahrain, may spoil Kenya’s party.
Jebet was the winner at the Rio Olympics and almost came close to breaking the world record. But that will remain to be seen if at all she will push for the gold in London.
“They all have potential to deliver and what amazes is that each has the ability to win depending on where the battle will start from in the last 1,000m,” said Chemos.
The former champ urged the Kenya team to try an early pace to lock out the potential threat of to her athletes joining the pack to spoil their party.
“The battle will be slow in the first 1,000m but it’s in the next 1,000m where it will be won,” she said.